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Should I write a letter of recommendation for an ex-employee or not?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
Here is the story. An employee recently quit. He was probably going to be fired anyway and he knew that, so Friday afternoon two weeks ago he just walked out the door without any notice (he is a diva as you will see). He now wants a letter of recommendation.

This is why I am on the fence about what to do. On the one hand he was a very good salesman, great with customers and was for the most part an alright guy. He would stay late whenever needed without any problem. As a person I liked him a lot.

The flip side is he was a real diva, got into loud fights with other employees (sometimes in front of customers) and complained about certain tasks that he didn't want to do. I'm not talking about taking out the trash or cleaning toilets, I'm talking about writing his sales invoices correctly, an so on. Without a doubt the highest maintenance employee I have ever had. He was also often late. His trustworthiness is also suspect.

I know these things will unlikely change, and to leave them out of the letter is a disservice to any future employer. To put them in and the letter is worthless. What say you SF?
post #2 of 31
Would you rehire him? If not, then you probably have your answer.
post #3 of 31
He quit without giving notice, you don't have to write shit. Beware, if he uses you as a reference I think it's illegal to say anything negative about him other than the fact that he worked for you during the period he claims.
post #4 of 31
It seems like all you are left with is a generic letter stating that the guy worked for you, did his job most of the time, and was a good person. Not a glowing recommendation at all...so I would not provide it. The justification is easy.....if the guy was like any good employee you would not ask this question/poll as it would be a no-brainer to provide one. Walking out the door with no notice is reason enough not to provide a reference.
post #5 of 31
Tell him that you're unwilling to write a dishonest letter of recommendation, and that it's probably better, for his sake, that you don't write the letter. He should get the clue, especially if he knew he was going to be fired.

He sounds like a prick... don't encourage him.
post #6 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jumpinjeffd View Post
It seems like all you are left with is a generic letter stating that the guy worked for you, did his job most of the time, and was a good person. Not a glowing recommendation at all...so I would not provide it. The justification is easy.....if the guy was like any good employee you would not ask this question/poll as it would be a no-brainer to provide one. Walking out the door with no notice is reason enough not to provide a reference.

i thought about doin a poll but i want to hear opinions on this, i think polls prevent convo sometimes. for example your post was more helpful and insighful than a simple no.
post #7 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by in stitches View Post
Here is the story. An employee recently quit. He was probably going to be fired anyway and he knew that, so Friday afternoon two weeks ago he just walked out the door without any notice (he is a diva as you will see). He now wants a letter of recommendation.

This is why I am on the fence about what to do. On the one hand he was a very good salesman, great with customers and was for the most part an alright guy. He would stay late whenever needed without any problem. As a person I liked him a lot.

The flip side is he was a real diva, got into loud fights with other employees (sometimes in front of customers) and complained about certain tasks that he didn't want to do. I'm not talking about taking out the trash or cleaning toilets, I'm talking about writing his sales invoices correctly, an so on. Without a doubt the highest maintenance employee I have ever had. He was also often late. His trustworthiness is also suspect.

I know these things will unlikely change, and to leave them out of the letter is a disservice to any future employer. To put them in and the letter is worthless. What say you SF?

No. He left on bad terms (by definition, if he walked out with no notice). By writing a letter of recommendation you acknowledge to your remaining team that this is acceptable behavior.

It's an easy out - if he asks - you can just say that given the circumstances of his departure, you can't offer a recommendation.
post #8 of 31
you only have 2 options, and both involve not writing a recommendation. you can base the decision on the terms of his departure (not helpful for him) or you could tell him the true reasons for not writing the letter. depends on the relationship you may still have with this person.
post #9 of 31
No.

Never, for anyone, no matter how good of an employee.
post #10 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post
No.

Never, for anyone, no matter how good of an employee.

never for anyone who left/was fired under any set of circumstances. period?
post #11 of 31
I would NOT write a letter of recommendation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by in stitches View Post
I know these things will unlikely change, and to leave them out of the letter is a disservice to any future employer. To put them in and the letter is worthless. What say you SF?
To put them in a letter could get you/your business sued. The truth matters not.
post #12 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by in stitches View Post
never for anyone who left/was fired under any set of circumstances. period?

Never, for anyone, no matter how good of an employee.

Never, even if they donated a kidney for you.

Never, even if they saved your life in a robbery.

Never, even if you had sex with them.

Never.
post #13 of 31
I wouldnt. Unless you guys are close friends. His ability to sell is gonna be far outshadowed by his attitude. The only way I send letters of recommendation for old employees is if they are eligible for rehire in my company. Quitting without notice would not allow him to be rehired in most of the places ive worked, so that wouldbe one less letter id have to ink my john hancock on.
post #14 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RSS View Post
I would NOT write a letter of recommendation.

To put them in a letter could get you/your business sued. The truth matters not.

TA-RUTH! thanks for pointing that out

Quote:
Originally Posted by DerekS View Post
I wouldnt. Unless you guys are close friends. His ability to sell is gonna be far outshadowed by his attitude. The only way I send letters of recommendation for old employees is if they are eligible for rehire in my company. Quitting without notice would not allow him to be rehired in most of the places ive worked, so that wouldbe one less letter id have to ink my john hancock on.

we are def not good friends.

i think the letter will not happen. hopefully he just wont ask again. i dont want to get shot g-d forbid. this is baltimore you know.
post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post
Never, for anyone, no matter how good of an employee.

Never, even if they donated a kidney for you.

Never, even if they saved your life in a robbery.

Never, even if you had sex with them.

Never.
+1
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